Google's quantum supremacy and the influence on cryptocurrencies

Oct 03, 2019


The threat of quantum computing hovers over the classic encryption and main security pillar behind most current blockchain networks. Search giant Google recently said it had reached a key milestone in quantum computing, which could have serious implications for cryptocurrencies.

In a new scientific publication, technology giant Google claims to have achieved "quantum supremacy" with a 53-qubit quantum computer. This definition means that the machine solved a problem that no classic computer could solve within a reasonable time. The implications of this may be reaching far, even NASA removed the article it had published.

According to reports, the new quantum processor took only 200 seconds to complete a task that would normally take thousands of years for an ordinary supercomputer. Google researchers wrote:

“To our knowledge, this experiment marks the first calculation performed on a quantum processor.”

In theory, this means that the computer can break 53-bit encryption in seconds.

Bitcoin encryption is currently 256-bit (SHA-256), requiring twice as many operations to decrypt the Elliptical Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA), an algorithm Bitcoin uses to ensure that funds can only be spent by its legitimate ones. owners. It will be a while before any computer, quantum or otherwise, can solve this, but scientists at the research firm estimate that this may be possible in the coming years.

The report added that the number of Qubits, the basic unit of quantum information in a two-state quantum mechanical system, could at least double every year. That would go beyond Moore's Law and give the company a computer capable of breaching military encryption by 2024.

An increase in the SHA-512 or stronger encryption algorithms would prevent Google from “cracking cryptocurrencies” over the next decade, but crypto technology must essentially evolve to maintain its security.

However, a more disturbing notion is the growing power the company has. Google already dominates the flow of data across the globe and pretty much determines what appears and doesn't appear in the news. It is the great superintendent of the internet and operates with total impunity.

The company had the famous phrase "Don't be evil!" In its code of conduct and, since becoming Alphabet, has replaced the phrase with "Do the right thing." However, today, more powerful than most governments and with quantum computing technology at your fingertips, no data on the planet will be safe. Certainly, “the right thing” is under wraps.

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